Anil Deshmukh has tendered his resignation as the Maharashtra Home Minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, the party announced on Monday.
The development came shortly after the Bombay High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to start a preliminary inquiry within 15 days into allegations of corruption and misconduct levelled by former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh against him.
Deshmukh belongs to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), an ally of the Shiv Sena and the Congress in Maharashtra.
While speaking to reporters, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “Deshmukh informed NCP chief Sharad Pawar that it won’t be appropriate to remain in the post as CBI will be probing the charges against him.”
Deshmukh submitted his resignation letter to CM Thackeray, Malik added.
Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said he is happy that Deshmukh has quit, adding there will be many “shocking revelations” in the CBI probe.
HC asks CBI to probe Singh’s allegations against Deshmukh
The Bombay HC was hearing a plea of the petitioner Dr Jaishri Patil regarding the case today.
“Bombay High Court has asked the CBI director to conduct a preliminary inquiry within 15 days and to register an FIR if any cognizable offence is found,” Petitioner Dr Jaishri Patil told the reporters.
The Bombay HC also said that Deshmukh is the Home Minister and no impartial probe can be done by the police.
In his plea, the former Mumbai police commissioner repeated the graft allegations that he had made against Deshmukh in a letter to CM Thackeray. He also accused the Maharashtra Home Minister of interfering in police investigations.
Singh moved the Bombay HC after the Supreme Court refused to entertain his plea regarding the matter.
Singh, who was shunted out as Mumbai police chief in the wake of the Antilia bomb scare probe, has also challenged the government’s order to transfer him from the post of Mumbai Police Commissioner.
Singh had earlier written to CM Thackeray claiming Deshmukh’s involvement in severe “malpractices”.
The ex-top cop claimed that Deshmukh held meetings at his residence with several Mumbai police officials, including Waze, in February this year.
In these meetings, Deshmukh instructed the officers to collect ₹100 crore per month from various establishments.
Singh also that Deshmukh regularly interfered with police functioning and often misused his office.